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Mixing audio tracks

From: Premiere Elements 7 Essential Training

Video: Mixing audio tracks

At some point in your video production process, you will probably end up with the project looking something like this. You will have one video track in each of these clips and audio associated with it. Another narration track and perhaps a music track below it. The thing that you are going to run into now is how you make those three tracks behave together nicely so you don't have, let's say, the music stepping all over your narration. So, if you want to follow along with this little process, this audio mixing process, open up the 09-mixing project. Let me just give you an indication of what this whole thing will sound like if you play all three tracks together. (Video Playing) Obviously, the music is too loud; the narration is barely audible and you can sort of hear the natural sound there on the stable.

Mixing audio tracks

At some point in your video production process, you will probably end up with the project looking something like this. You will have one video track in each of these clips and audio associated with it. Another narration track and perhaps a music track below it. The thing that you are going to run into now is how you make those three tracks behave together nicely so you don't have, let's say, the music stepping all over your narration. So, if you want to follow along with this little process, this audio mixing process, open up the 09-mixing project. Let me just give you an indication of what this whole thing will sound like if you play all three tracks together. (Video Playing) Obviously, the music is too loud; the narration is barely audible and you can sort of hear the natural sound there on the stable.

But what you want to do here is somehow mix those guys together, so they are not stepping all over each other, and you have some kind of pleasant mix where you can hear which you are supposed to hear at any given moment. Well, if you work in the Sceneline, let me show you how that works. I'll go to the Sceneline. We have these three tracks: narration, music and the original video track. If you work with more than three tracks then you can't do this smoothly in the Sceneline. You only have maximum of three audio controls in the Sceneline right there in the left-hand side. But this is a typical process and if you are still working in the Sceneline, you probably aren't more working with more than three tracks.

So this is the way it will work. You can control each track entirely over here. Once you make the change, it changes it for the entire track. It's kind of a brute-force method of controlling the audio. But obviously, the music was too loud so you click on this little icon here to open up the controller and drop the audio level down. You can't really nail it exactly but just to estimate that will go there. Click this one to raise the narration a bit and the bar is a little loud in some places, we will drop that. Let's just see how that sounds right now. (Video Playing) It's pretty good. We have it worked out all right. We can stop that now and maybe adjust the music down just a touch there and then I think we are going have that right. The thing is though that at some point, the narration is going to stop and the music is going to continue and you are going to want the music to come up and you can't use this method to change the audio mid-track, but this is the way you would work if you work in the Sceneline.

If you work in the Timeline, you have more options. So let's say we start all over again in the Timeline where all the audio level set back to their original levels. You can adjust things here using something called the Mixer. Let me open up the Audio Mixer for you. The Audio Mixer has audio controls for each track. Audio1 is the track with the video, Narration and Soundtrack. These other tracks are empty in this particular case. They are available but not being used. So this is where you are going to control things. If I just play it now, I take the current time back to the beginning and play it, I can adjust the volume here.

(Video Playing) It's a pretty good mix right there, but the thing is you got to that point a few seconds into the piece and what's happened is you see all these little keyframes here that were added to the Timeline? Those are keyframes that indicate the audio levels and what happens if I go back to the beginning, it will be too loud at the beginning. (Video playing) It just settles down over here.

So the one kind of little drawback to this process that you need to know sort of the settings that are going to be used in advance before you start changing the Mixer. So you see that the Mixer here is set to -22 and 3 for the Narration and -12. This is kind of the setting you want to set at the beginning before you start rolling. So I'm going to undo all that by pressing Ctrl+Z. It takes care of all those keyframes at once. Now that the settings are correct, if I take this back to the beginning, the settings unfortunately changed back to the original settings. So that's one of the little drawbacks to this thing. You can more or less get it right but you can't get it perfect unless you kind of write down the values. Now, we will try to see what it sounds.

(Video Playing) So now we are pretty happy and that will work right once you kind of get the settings set. What I want to do now is I want to go here to the end where my narration ends and then I want to, let's say, bring up the music at that point. So, I'm going to roll it again and now I'm going to bring up the music then. (Music Playing) So at least you can do that. You can sort of set it at the beginning, get your numbers written down, start all over and then you can make adjustments later if you need to, to kind of adjust places that you want to fade the audio or bring it up.

Finally, if you want to fine-tune all this, you can, let's say, look at the effects. Let's click on this particular clip down here where the things changed over time, we will grab that, I'll go to Edit > Effects, click Edit Effects, click on Volume, open up this. You will see that we added a bunch of keyframes there and if you are into kind of refining the changes, you can open up those keyframes. You can expand the view and take a look at those keyframes and either delete or move or change the values of those keyframes. So it's basically how you mix audio tracks to create a nice blend.

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This video is part of

Image for Premiere Elements 7 Essential Training
Premiere Elements 7 Essential Training

44 video lessons · 4900 viewers

Jeff Sengstack
Author

 
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  1. 3m 47s
    1. Overview
      1m 21s
    2. Understanding the workflow
      55s
    3. Using the exercise files
      23s
    4. Relinking missing media
      1m 8s
  2. 10m 47s
    1. Understanding Premiere Elements 7 features
      5m 49s
    2. Touring the workspace
      3m 14s
    3. Using the Help function
      1m 44s
  3. 14m 2s
    1. Starting a new project
      2m 52s
    2. Getting video from a camcorder
      5m 22s
    3. Getting media from other sources
      2m 36s
    4. Managing clips with the Organizer and in Project view
      3m 12s
  4. 10m 6s
    1. Adding, rearranging, and deleting clips in the Sceneline
      3m 31s
    2. Adding, rearranging, deleting, and replacing clips in the Timeline
      6m 35s
  5. 19m 29s
    1. Using the Monitor panel to trim video in the Sceneline
      3m 51s
    2. Trimming video in the Timeline
      4m 3s
    3. Trimming clips in the Preview window
      3m 58s
    4. Changing clip speed, duration, and direction
      7m 37s
  6. 16m 18s
    1. Understanding transitions
      4m 31s
    2. Applying transitions
      4m 47s
    3. Adjusting transitions
      7m 0s
  7. 17m 53s
    1. Understanding video effects
      9m 47s
    2. Applying and modifying video effects
      8m 6s
  8. 30m 16s
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 34s
    2. Animating video effects
      9m 29s
    3. Using the Motion effect with keyframes
      4m 5s
    4. Working with effect presets
      8m 22s
    5. Controlling changes between keyframes
      3m 46s
  9. 18m 17s
    1. Recording narrations
      2m 53s
    2. Making soundtracks with SmartSound
      4m 16s
    3. Applying audio effects
      6m 2s
    4. Mixing audio tracks
      5m 6s
  10. 17m 56s
    1. Creating titles from scratch
      7m 25s
    2. Having fun with titles
      10m 31s
  11. 13m 10s
    1. Understanding compositing
      3m 6s
    2. Creating picture-in-picture overlays
      4m 52s
    3. Creating transparency with Videomerge
      5m 12s
  12. 6m 45s
    1. Using Instant Movie, themes, and Smart Tags
      6m 45s
  13. 12m 22s
    1. Understanding DVD authoring
      1m 34s
    2. Adding DVD scene markers
      3m 37s
    3. Creating DVD menus using templates
      7m 11s
  14. 8m 52s
    1. Sharing from the Tasks panel
      7m 4s
    2. Archiving projects
      1m 48s
  15. 6m 46s
    1. Shooting video to make a great story
      6m 46s
  16. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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